30 April 2008
PERRY, George (fl. 1810). Conchology, or the Natural History of Shells: containing a New Arrangement of the Genera and Species. London: W. Bulmer and Co. for William Miller, [1810-]1811 [plates watermarked 1808].
2° (412 x 271mm). 61 fine hand-coloured aquatint plates by John Clarke after Perry. 2pp. publisher's advertisements at end. (Lacking half-title, one plate with paint spot, very occasional marginal spotting.) Mid 19th-century half green morocco, gilt spine, gilt edges. Provenance: George Savile Foljambe (bookplate).
FIRST EDITION of the first work on shells to be illustrated with aquatint plates. Although Perry's Conchology was sharply criticized by contemporaries such as Sowerby, modern assessment affirms Perry's contribution: 'many of [Perry's] new generic and specific names are firmly entrenched in the literature today' (Dance, pp.121). For his illustrations, subsequently vividly coloured by hand, Perry worked from natural specimens in the collections of the British Museum, William Bullock, George Annesley (Viscount Valentia), H.C. Jennings, W.J. Broderip and Elizabeth Bligh (wife of William Bligh, of Bounty fame). Dance pp.120-121, no.223; Nissen ZBI 3134.
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